Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Australian bushfires compounded the impact of La Niña, study finds

The “copious” amounts of smoke aerosols emitted by fires 2019-2020 forest forecasts of the Australian “black summer” have been related to a worsening of the impact of the meteorological phenomenon of The girlwhich was repeated for three consecutive seasons, according to a scientific study.

These “exceptional” fires also caused changes in the cloud cycle a “radiationr on a planetary scale, similar to those simulated for a large rash volcanic”, underlined this study led by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and published today in the scientific journal Science Advances.

The large number of clouds smoke that were formed by that catastrophic event in the southern summer absorbed the radiation of the sun and caused a cooling of the Tropical Pacific Ocean, where La Niña is formed, which would have resulted in this natural event repeating itself three times between September 2020 and March 2023.

“The aerosol sprays that formed from the emissions shimmered cloud decks across the southern hemisphere and especially off the coast of Peru, cooling and drying the air in the regionultimately displacing the area where the north and south trade winds meet,” the NCAR said in a statement released Wednesday (Thursday in Australia).

This repeat of La Niña triggered strong floods in Australia and wetter conditions in the Pacific Northwest, while across the ocean it caused drier and warmer than average conditions in the southwestern United States and cooler temperatures in North America, according to the text.

The NCAR recalled that since the 1950s, when these eventsthere have only been three consecutive La Niña spells, a phenomenon that, like El Niño, is predictable several months in advance.

“Many people quickly forgot about the Australian fires, especially when the pandemic of the covid, but the terrestrial system has a long memory, and the effects of the fires lasted for years, ”said John Fasullo, lead author of the study and an NCAR expert, in the statement.

He studywhich is based on climate models, points out that these catastrophic wildfires contributed to the cooling of the ocean thousands of kilometers away, exacerbating the effects of the girl.

“As the change climatethe emissions from forest fires will also change,” Fasullo specified, reflecting on the need to include this type of event in climate models.

The forest fires of “black summer” They killed 33 people, including six firefighters, and billions of animals, as well as destroyed some 3,000 homes and burned 24 million hectares of land.


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